The Skymee Owl Robot is a fun and (it must be said) highly frivolous addition to a smart pet home. Treat dispensing will likely convince most pets of its charms, and it'll keep them busy while you're out, but don't rely on it as a security tool.
Very solid camera with night vision
Integrated treat dispenser
Can be automated
Great fun to play with
Doesn't get on with all carpets
Occasional connection issues
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We're not going to lie, the Skymee Owl Robot has us crushing hard - in fact, we're pretty sure little love hearts are floating out of our eyes right now just from looking at it! And before you think this adorable device is all style and no substance, just wait until you hear how this little dude can make your life easier.
If you're looking for the ultimate pet-sitter, trust us, you've found it. Not only can this guy whiz round your house independently, but you can also control the Skymee Owl Robot via the app. One of the best pet cameras money can buy, this innovative device can do it all, from keeping your furkid amused with games to dishing out treats when you want to reward them for good behavior.
While it’s not a replacement for proper security - you’ll want one of the best outdoor wireless cameras for pets if home and fur baby surveillance is high on your priority list - we love that the two-way talk system lets you converse with your kitty or canine and with six to eight hours of battery life, you can rest assured that the Skymee Owl Robot will keep your precious pet occupied for the duration of your absence.
There's no doubt that the Skymee Owl Robot can make your life easier, but does it have enough going for it to make it worth the splurge? Let’s take it for a test drive and find out!
Skymee Owl Robot: Features
It's difficult to prioritize one of the Owl's features over another, but let's start with that which makes it unique: those wheels. They give the Skymee Owl enough purchase to roll on hard floors, carpet, or grass, with the entire central portion of the unit counterweighted so it stays facing forward as the Owl travels. You can pilot it yourself, directing it to go forward, back, or turn using your phone, all while viewing what the Owl sees while you do it.
As well as being remote-controlled, you can also set it to roam automatically. It can detect and avoid objects in its path (but it’s not so great at dealing with steps, so will be better suited to rooms on one level). You can also set a path for it to follow if you don’t want it leading your pet into areas you don’t want it to. This makes it a fun interactive pet companion while you are out of your house, provided you’ve remembered to charge it before you leave, of course.
If your furry friends really bond with it, the Owl can switch to a mode where it generates its own Wi-fi network, which means you can pack it in a bag for some outdoor play and let it dish out the best dog treats or cat treats along the way!
The camera looks to be a fairly standard 1080p sensor, so not too exciting in terms of its resolution, but it offers a fairly unique viewpoint likely lower than your pet's eye line. You can obviously use it to see where you're driving the Owl, but it's also possible to record footage through it, or just peep at what your pets are up to when you're not at home - if they're not happy, the Owl includes both a microphone and speaker, so you can calm them down with your voice.
Many of these features can be found in other pet cameras, and indeed in cheaper cameras that don't have a specific pet focus but we don't know of anything with quite the same companionship and play features of the Skymee Owl. If separation anxiety is a big issue, we'd recommend pairing the Skymee Owl alongside something like the RelaxoPet Pro, which uses advanced vibration technology to calm stressed pets.
Skymee Owl Robot: User reviews
Everything's fine in theory, but how does the Owl hold up in practice?
In many ways it's great. Most people seem perfectly happy with the standard of the Skymee Owl's camera, for example, and the test shots we've seen back that up: it's a high quality eye with good range and adept night vision capabilities. You won't have any trouble seeing what your little one is up to.
The wheels don't quite hold up to the promise, though. They struggle, it seems, to gain traction over certain carpets, so this is probably better suited to hard floors than it is to a '70s shag-pile lounge, and we'd likely recommend against the outdoor functionality unless you're playing on an immaculately tended bowling green.
Some users have noted that the Owl is a little larger than it seems in pictures, so it might be a little intimidating if you're buying it for a cat rather than a larger dog, treat dispensing or not. Depends on your cat, really; others have found theirs interacted with it fine, and some found their cat was utterly indifferent to it, which should honestly be the expected outcome when making any expensive purchase for a cat.
Even the most positive user reviews - and there are a lot - mention that the Owl is prone to occasional disconnections, and that Skymee's app is functional but not particularly special. That's not something that's too onerous if you're sat at home and piloting the thing manually, but it may mean the Owl Robot loses a few points as a remote camera if it doesn't get on too well with your wireless network.
Should you buy the Skymee Owl Robot?
If you're a dog owner and your hound isn't on the more destructive side of the spectrum, we could see the Skymee Owl adding a bit of much-needed companionship and interest to those days you can't be with them. Cats, too, might find it interesting - and even if they don't, you'll be able to roll it around and (low viewing angle willing) see precisely where they're sleeping today.
But it's an expensive thing that tries to do three things at once. If you're looking for a pet toy, there are numerous other options. A pet camera needs to be 100% reliable to stop you worrying for no reason; if this is, as some have suggested, a little flaky in that department, it might be best reserved for play.
We'd put this firmly in the 'disposable income' bracket. You don't need the Skymee Owl, but you and your pet will probably enjoy it.
Alex is a freelance writer, editor and sub editor specialising in entertainment and technology; he is a father of two, and owned by three increasingly grumpy cats. Somehow he has been doing this for 24 years, and it's still fun. He specialises in technology-related subjects, with a focus on smart home and gadgets and is a regular contributor to T3.com, TechRadar, PC Gamer, and more.